This is my overview post of the March for Life 2011, live updates can be found at twitter.com/americanpapist
This year the annual March for Life will take place on January 24th, but as always, there are a host of other fine pro-life events taking place in coordination with the March itself.
- As usual, I will be doing my best to pop in and report on some of these events. I offer these (and others) as tips for anyone who plans on joining us here in Washington DC. I will be updating this post as more information is made available (please feel free to send me additional items to post).
- One event in particular I am excited about is taking place on January 23rd: the 12th Annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life (this year’s speakers include Helen Alvare, Bishop William Lori, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Rev. Joseph Koterski and Lila Rose of LiveAction). There is still time to register! They are also on Facebook.
- A great place to start your March day in DC is ProLifeCon hosted by the Family Research Council. It’s a short morning program beginning at 8:30AM and featuring speakers Jill Stanek (pro-life super blogger), Lila Rose of LiveAction, Abby Johnson (author of Unplanned), David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, Terrence McKeegan of C-FAM … a high-powered line-up to be sure. I plan to attend.
- The annual youth rally and Mass for Life is being held the morning of the March. Details are on the Archdiocese of Washington website here. Tickets are required. This year they are holding a second youth rally and Mass which will allow an additional 10,000 youth to attend.
- In addition the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life will be taking place the day before the march, celebrated by Daniel Cardinal Dinardo at the National Shrine.
- The USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat has posted the schedule of holy hours, etc. for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, among other resources, here.
- The annual Students for Life of America Conference this year (the largest one of its kind in the world with over 1,700 students attending) will be taking place Sunday January 23rd in Bethesda, Maryland (easy metro trip from DC). Details here. The conference features several panels and speakers, a Presidential straw poll and room for bloggers.
If you are looking for a ride to DC, enquire at your parish or call your diocese to see if they are organizing a trip. You can also visit the DC Rally Bus page to see what buses are already going, or to organize and schedule a bus (as I understand it).
If you cannot come to DC, there may be a March for Life in your area (see for instance this one taking place in Grants Pass, Oregon). The largest one besides Washington DC takes place in San Francisco. The 2011 Walk for Life West Coast will take place on January 22nd (they are expecting over 35,000 participants!).
Finally, on the day of the march, if you have awesome pictures and videos of it to share, submit them to me at “thomas [at] catholicvote.org” and I will consider posting them on the blog. Special shout-out to anyone who spots me milling around the Mall!
- Fun fact: Props to Abp. Neinstedt for being the first archbishop from that region to lead a group of young Catholics to the March for Life. I wonder how many bishops will be in attendance this year?
- Worth reading: Embarrassed to speak up about your pro-life views? Todd Hartch writes compellingly that “speaking out requires humility as well as courage” in The Pride of Silence.
- Don’t miss this! To kickoff the March for Life, the bookstore at the National Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, is sponsoring a special event on Sunday and Monday (January 23 and 24). Matthew Salisbury, Gabrielle Gniewek, and Sean Lam, creators of the Catholic manga (graphic novel) series, Paul: Tarsus to Redemption and Judith: Captive to Conqueror, will be there to meet fans and sign books.The first fifty who buy the graphic novel at the bookstore on Sunday will receive a limited-edition full color poster autographed by the writers and illustrator.
Finally, everyone can enter in the Manga Hero March for Life Sweepstakes to win a free Apple iPad, iPod Nano, or a complete set of both Catholic manga series.